Snow, sleet, freezing rain, extreme cold are all indicative of winter storms and these extremes are commonly seen in Stokes County. Each one presents with varying degrees of difficulties.
Snow—Heavy snow can immobilize a region, stranding commuters, and disrupting day-to-day activities of essential services. Accumulations of snow can collapse buildings and knock down trees and power lines.
Ice (Freezing Rain/Sleet) - Heavy accumulations of ice can bring down trees, electrical wires, and telephone poles and lines Communications and power can be disrupted for days while utility companies work to repair the extensive damage. Even small accumulations of ice may cause extreme hazards to motorists and pedestrians.
Extreme Cold—Extreme cold often accompanies a winter storm or is left in its wake. Prolonged exposure to the cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia and become life-threatening. Infants and elderly people are most susceptible. Pipes may freeze and burst in homes that are poorly insulated or without heat.
Winter Safety Tips
If you are caught outside during a winter storm:
· Find Shelter and try to stay dry, make sure all body parts are covered to prevent exposure.
· If there is no shelter, build a lean-to or windbreak for protection from the wind.
· Build a fire for heat and to attract attention.
If you are in a vehicle:
· Stay inside, running the motor 10 minutes every hour for warmth.
· Open the window a little to get fresh air and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
· Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.
· Be visible to rescuers by turning the dome light on at night while running the engine, or tie a colored cloth to the antenna or door handle.
· From time to time move arms, hands, legs and toes to keep warm and to keep blood circulating.
If you are inside:
· Stay inside—and properly ventilate and use appropriate safeguards if using alternate heat.
· If you have no heat—Close off unneeded rooms, stuff towels or rags under door cracks, eat and drink, and wear layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing.